Gender Studies Teaching Fellows 2019-2020

Christie DeCarolis, Sr. Instructional Designer, Instructional Design & Technology

Gender and Technology (Fall 2019, online)

This course explores gender’s influence on our definitions of and interactions with technology. Students will analyze not only how technology itself is gendered, but the ways in which gender influences technology’s design and consumption. Students will examine how racial and gendered biases influence the design of technology and the resulting consequences. Students will consider how social justice principles can be integrated into technology design and development. This includes examining the evolution of gender in the technology workforce.

Shanyn Fiske, Associate Professor, English

Fictions of Masculinity (Spring 2020, on campus)

This course will explore depictions of masculinity in literature of the West from the ancient Greeks to the present moment. How was masculinity framed and defined at specific historical moments and how have these definitions and frameworks evolved over time? What are the barriers past and present to achieving a cultural ideal of masculinity? How do these ideals differ between racial and economic groups and why? How do ideas and ideals of masculinity become destructive? What are the forces at work at any given historical moment that marginalize certain representations or embodiments of masculinity while reinforcing others and contributing to their cultural dominance? We will be asking these questions of a variety of literary texts across time and space including Homer’s Odyssey; Shakespeare’s Hamlet; Thomas Hughes’s Tom Brown’s School Days; Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman; J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye; Richard Wright’s Native Son; Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried; and Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club. We will also be reading essays and letters from two digital archives – the American Prison Writing Archive and the Center for American War Letters. We will supplement our explorations in literature and primary sources with critical texts from the growing body of work in masculinity studies. Examples of (excerpted) critical texts include Stephen Whitehead’s Men and Masculinities, R.W. Connell’s The Men and the Boys, and Michael Kimmel’s Guyland.


Gender Studies Research Fellows 2019-2020

Michelle Lyttle Storrod, Graduate Student, Childhood Studies

Digital Justice: Girls Reimagine Juvenile Justice through Phones & Social Media

Despite growing awareness that girls are the most frequent users of social media and the most rapidly criminalized and victimized from what its use, this activity is yet to be extensively considered by researchers. The nature of crimes and victimization experienced by girls may now be different to those previously studied, as it is possible that they are now digitally enhanced or enabled. This study will apply an intersectional feminist lens, using an ethnographic approach, which includes a series of focus groups, interviews and participant observation, to bring voice to the silence that exists regarding justice involved girls and their use of phones and social media. This lens is gender responsive and supports the empowerment of girls through a radical praxis that allows for transformative and healing spaces that are conducive to collective action. Combined with Bronfenbrenner’s Social Ecology Theory, girls’ experiences will be contextualized within their environments and the juvenile justice system. This study will provide an opportunity for dialogue between girls, practitioners and policy makers across Camden.

Samantha White, Graduate Student, Childhood Studies

Shaping the Body: African-American Girlhood and Health, 1919-1940.

Drawing upon the fields of Childhood Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, and African-American Studies, my project examines health education as a gendered and racialized project for African-American adolescent girls during the early twentieth century. Rather than approach health as the treatment of ailments and illnesses, I focus primarily on the aesthetics and the performance of the healthy body. Within the developing category of adolescence as well as a burgeoning youth culture, health education emerges as a site of guidance, surveillance, and transformation for girls.I examine the role of health as a site that addresses physical education and sport, personal hygiene, sexual education, and character building for girls through individual and collective efforts. Through formal and informal education, advice manuals, and newspaper columns, my project analyzes the relationship between discourses of health and embodied African-American female adolescence.